Magna International, which is a leading name in the global auto supply sector, showcased an ultra light door at the North American International Auto Show. Magna’s door at the show had only 42.5% of the weight of a conventional car door and was highlighted as an innovative concept that would help automakers to reduce the weight of their vehicles.
Ian Simmons, Magna’s vice president of business development, said that manufacturers could use the new door to help save as much as USD 700 on an annual basis in fuel costs, which works out to an estimated USD 7,300 for the life of the vehicle.
From the perspective of car manufacturers, a lighter door would translate into a significant difference in the level of carbon emissions in cars with combustion engines. When it comes to electric cars, it means they will go for a longer distance before they need to be recharged.
According to Swamy Kotagiri, Magna’s chief technology officer, Magna’s engineering team designed the door from scratch and completely reimagined the way they thought about the design, development and material-use of a door architecture in order to come up with the new design.
He added, “The team leveraged our broad product-development expertise and tackled this challenge in a cost-effective manner while meeting safety, durability and functionality requirements.”
The door integrated Magna’s electronic latch system, thus eliminating the need for mechanical hardware. The team also cut the total mass of the door by half by using advanced molding technologies, polymers and aluminum.
According to Magna executive, the door can be made using existing manufacturing processes, without much impact on production costs or changes in body-shop infrastructure.
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